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Calsonic Skyline GT-R (R33) - Tamiya 1:24

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Time to get serious about a kit I was given last year. The car was a big player in the Japanese Touring Car Championship in 1996, apparently. Not an area I know much about, but it's certainly an impressive (and very blue) beast, powered by a twin turbo, 2.5 litre straight 6, putting out 450bhp.


I'd been putting it off a bit because it looks challenging, but after a few weeks of dabbling it's time to grab the bull by the horns. The first challenge encountered is that 1:1 reference photos are thin on the ground in English speaking search engines: I have a few (not great) pics, but I'll have to refer to other peoples models a fair bit. Anyway, here's one in the flesh:


I started with the shell. The massive body kit on this thing renders the R33 almost unrecognisable, and needs a bit of gluing and a lot of paint!


The primer went ok but I didn't do a great job of the colour (TS-44 brilliant blue), as the intended top coat wasn't "wet" enough, leaving it a bit rough. I ended up putting another coat over it & flatting it with sandpaper & polishing compound. In retrospect I might've done this the other way around, but it looks ok after the TS-13 clear coat & I'll repeat the flatting/polish before the decals go on. (The spoiler was an absolute pain and needed re-gluing twice, and goodness knows how much time to re-sand & touch up: I hate spoilers!)


The last couple of sessions have been spent studying/organising & I feel like I'm properly on the case now. The chassis has been primered & the wheels stripped, and I'm starting to sort out the fiddly small bits. Gonna need to order some more TS-44 for the chassis: man, this thing really is BLUE...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys. Been in full attack mode on this one. The bulk of my time has been spent on the shell: first wet sanding the clear coat, then polishing with Tamiya compounds. Annoyingly, because I didn't widen the panel lines during prep, a number of them were showing signs of the undercoat so I had to mask them off & brush in pinstripes of colour. (I will use panel wash later, but it doesn't disguise thin/worn edges.)   


Finally, I was able to do something not BLUE & got the window surrounds masked & sprayed.



Next, some time consuming masking & brushwork on the front end. The light lenses are blacked out with lots of X-19 smoke. (They probably shouldn't be quite so dark, but I thought it looked badass!) It wasn't until it was too late that I noticed the (small) instruction to sand off the indicator bulbs on the corners. (This kit shares a body shell with that of the roadgoing GT-R which would have bigger front lenses covering everything.) After a few minutes of irritation, I discovered from my reference pics that other builders haven't bothered with this (including the example photo on the instructions!) & this area is commonly just painted black. I feel relaxed about it now!


Quite pleased with the rear lights. I used the usual trick of running a black marker around the lenses & have now perfected a safe adhesion method using a brush & acrylic gloss varnish.


The wheels were sprayed with Tamiya silver leaf, before brushing the tiny hex bolts with metallic grey & the centre nuts with gunmetal. The rims were finished with some dark grey wash around the edges. Tyre decals make me nervous, but I took my time & followed a useful YouTube tutorial. My best wheels yet, I reckon.


With the exception of the seat & dashboard, everything is now sprayed up & ready for brushwork/gluing. (Then the decals, but I'm slightly dreading them & not allowing myself to think about them just yet!!)


Edited by Pete75
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On 10/19/2020 at 8:54 AM, Mattilacken said:

Good work on a classic racing car!


14 hours ago, Dann Tier said:


Thanks guys, appreciate it ? Been continuing in top gear on this - the 1/24 world is providing an excellent distraction for me at the moment!

First up, got the underside done:


I have to say, this kit goes together really nicely. Everything seems to just "click" & I can definitely recommend it.


Up on her wheels now & almost ready for assembly as I've finished most of the interior components:


This is the second time I've used this PE seat belt kit. My 45-year-old eyes need every bit of light & magnification I can get hold of - man, they're fiddly!!!


Got started on the race car decal fest. This is only model #5 for me (although 6 & 7 are also in progress) so decals still bring me out in a bit of a sweat, but I'm almost enjoying them now!! 

Not far away now, so hopefully will be done by the next post. Cheers for looking in ?

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Ok, all but done. Waiting on some non-fogging CA glue to put the windows in, but she's pretty much there. 


The belts were testing but ultimately ok. I derived a good deal of help here from looking at approach taken in the superb Pennzoil R34 build by@lghtngyello03.


The rest of the interior went together pretty smoothly. I'll say it again, it's a really nice kit to work with. 


Any gluing onto finished bodywork scares me silly but the spoiler was painless. I decided against the wing mirrors because you're supposed to put a hole through each door from a mark in the interior (no thanks); also the position seems a bit strange and they look mega flimsy.

So that's that: she'll be under glass when she gets some!?

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Thanks very much ? The belts sure wouldn't look as good without using your R34 build as a reference! Your CF detailing & wiring also provide interesting ideas for the future. This is great kit & my only warning would be to thoroughly test fit the four side windows: they very nearly floored me at the last moment!!?

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